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SOPHIA COLLEGE Wa lk in Wi sd om

2017 House Committees are focusing on one community

CONTENTS Vale 2016


Social and Sport Highlights


Through the Decades


What are They Doing Now


Thank You

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ON THE COVER Front: Sancta’s 2017 leaders: Michael Duan, Madeline de Dassel, Martin Day, Isabella Barrett, Aaron Yang, Hannah Barnett


Acknowledgements Editor Michele Dunn, Marketing and Development Manager The editor would like to thank Elizabeth Burns, Maryanne Pidcock and Dr Marie Leech for their assistance with this publication. Photography Many thanks to Katelyn Reid, House of Cameo, Nicholas Chu, Aaron Groom and Eloise Robertson.


Contact Us Sancta Sophia College 8 Missenden Road Camperdown NSW 2050 Main Office Hours Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm Fundraising and Alumni Enquiries Michele Dunn Phone 02 9577 2347 Email General Enquiries From within Australia Phone 02 9577 2100 Fax 02 9577 2388


International Phone +61 2 9577 2100 Fax +61 2 9577 2388 Email We are always keen to hear what our alumni and friends are doing, so please let us know any career achievements and highlights, births, marriages, engagements or other news. Enquiries and submissions Join our Facebook or LinkedIn pages, or follow us on Twitter

Disclaimer: The editor has compiled SANCTA from various sources. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the information published is accurate, the editor cannot accept responsibility for inaccuracies in the content or authenticity of that information.

ALUMNI EVENTS 16 March 70s Club High Tea 25 May Mother Swift Bequest Society Lunch 7 June 1956-1957 Reunion 5 August Gala Dinner, Alumni Awards and Reunions for 1967, 1977, 1987, 1997, 2007 and 2012 16 September Wisdom Forum 2 November Donor and Supporter Thank You Drinks 12 November Memorial Mass

From the


The College name, our crest, our motto, ’Walk in Wisdom’ embodies the vision and the ideals that have guided us during these 90 years.

For 90 years, Sancta Sophia College has provided a home from home for students. Today, a percentage of our students continue to come from regional NSW, the original source of most Sancta students in the early years of the College. But now, and especially in these recent historic years of the greatest single expansion of the College, increasingly we have students from interstate and from overseas, our students this year representing 24 countries. Our students attend more than 80 different university courses, creating for us within the College an amazingly rich environment; and, as you all well know, Sancta students participate in intercollegiate and intramural life and in many other activities on the wider campus. The College name, our crest, our motto, ’Walk in Wisdom’ embodies the vision and the ideals that have guided us during these 90 years. I share with you an extract from an editorial from the Sancta Sophia magazine, the 1945 edition, in which college member Patricia Collins wrote: “‘Walk in Wisdom’ … is an exhortation and an interpretation which follows a Sancta collegian everywhere. On note paper it is stamped in ink; in the library it is cut in wood; over the fire-place in the Common Room it is carved in stone…. And always it is interpreting the crest above it: the tower with its twofold symbolism signifying the Tower of Ivory and the influence of the cultured person; the book with the Greek Alpha and Omega, reminding of the First Beginning and the Last End of all knowledge; and the Cross in whose sign we shall conquer. This, briefly, is the motto and crest which we are honoured to bear, and, perhaps, this sums up the whole of College life which forms its background…” The vision, ideals, motto and crest have served us well during our 90 years. And I’m sure they will underpin much of our work next year as we embark on a major project for most of the colleges at the University of Sydney, the Review of Cultures by Elizabeth Broderick and her staff.

In May, the University of Sydney announced that it had asked business and social change leader Elizabeth Broderick AO to work with the University and the University’s residential colleges to undertake a cultural review. A number of colleges have commenced actively participating in the review. Colleges participating in 2016 included The Women’s College, Sancta Sophia College, Wesley College and St Andrew’s College. St John’s College will commence working with Ms Broderick and her team in early 2017. So far, Ms Broderick and her team have, in collaboration with the participating colleges: >> conducted a number of focus groups (7) with students at colleges >> had lengthy briefings with the Heads and Chairs of a number of colleges and toured the facilities >> held meetings with the College Heads on the key themes coming out of the focus groups >> Ms Broderick has presented the key elements of the review at two colleges >> Established a confidential email address for students to write to the Broderick team and share experiences The feedback to date indicates that the students have found the focus groups engaging and informative. They have appreciated the opportunity to share their views on cultural renewal and enrichment as well as describing the great strengths of college life. Ms Broderick and her team advise they have been impressed by the colleges’ openness and enthusiasm for the project and are confident about the long term benefits of the process.

Dr Marie Leech



Chair of


I recently attended the Vale Mass and Dinner at the College. For whatever reason, it was the first time I had attended such an occasion since I left College back in………(well we won’t go there).

Special thanks for ensuring that we all had such a great evening go the Principal Dr Marie Leech and the Vice Prinicpal Maryanne Pidcock. They along with Michele Dunn and all the team showed us why we treasure Sancta.

And what an evening it was. Beautifully organised by the College, the Mass celebrated by Father Brendon Quirk, was very well attended and struck the right note to start off the celebrations.

As this is the first year of being Chair, I have surprisingly quite enjoyed myself! I obviously had some inkling of my responsibilities, but until you are in the Chair, you don’t really know what to expect. I have had staunch support from my fellow Councillors, which has of course made my job far easier and I do thank them for all their help and wisdom during the year.

The Sheldon Dining Hall was dressed to the nines and looked very special. The speeches made were appropriate and well received, the key note speaker, Elizabeth Broderick, made one of the best speeches I have heard in quite some time. Thoughtful, provocative and well researched, she totally engaged with the audience, we could not have asked for better.

The evening reinforced my belief that my ongoing mission is to ensure that all students who attend Sancta can leave with such memories.



During the speeches, I remembered again why I have spent a considerable amount of time being part of the College Council. The respect, admiration and love shown by the students to the College, whether they be graduands, valetants or not, was palpable. These feeling weren’t forced because of the occasion, it was genuine and it was felt by everyone who attended. The evening reinforced my belief that my ongoing mission is to ensure that all students who attend Sancta can leave with such memories.

As Chair I have had much more exposure to how the College runs on a day to day basis. With Graduate House now also in the mix, we run a sizable operation. And none of this could happen without the ongoing dedication of the Executive and staff of the College. The hours that are put in and the human complications that are addressed on a daily basis seem unsurmountable, but they get through it all. My special thanks to each of you. Best wishes to all.

Cathleen Crossley

College FINANCES Sancta is a not-for-profit organisation and does not receive Government funding. As the accompanying graph indicates, the main source of revenue is from student fees. A secondary, but important source of revenue is from conferences, casual accommodation and functions. The College has continued to to grow this business in order to alleviate some pressure on fee increases. Our fundraising efforts for support through donations continue to grow the funds that are directed primarily for the scholarship and bursary program, as well

Sancta - 2016 Sancta SophiaSophia College - College 2016 Income

as for other special services for students and/or as directed by the donor. Sancta (based in the original College building) and Graduate House are classified as separate not for profit (NFP) entities by the Australian Taxation Office. The Council and Management of the College are charged with rigorously monitoring all income and expenditure for both entities on a continuous basis throughout the year through the updates from the Business Office, use of budgeting, cash flow forecasting and

regular Risk, Audit, Compliance and Finance Committee meetings. Analysis and financial reporting is undertaken on a monthly basis and any variations to budget are carefully scrutinised by Management, the Finance Committee and by the Council. At all times, we endeavour to ensure that Sancta is accessible to a diverse range of students whilst balancing the service and environmental standards required to meet the expectations of today’s students.

Income Sancta Sophia College - 2016 Expenses

Sancta Sophia College - 2016 expenses Catering (27.64%) Employment (21.52%)

Student residential (85.81%)

Maintenance (9.11%)

Conference Centre (8.98%)

Depreciation (7.92%) Housekeeping (7.19%)

Donations (3.88%)

Other student costs (6.85%)

Investment income (1.09%)

Scholarships/bursaries (5.51%)

Other income (0.23%)

Utilities (4.03%) Marketing (3.18%) Insurances (3.00%)

Student residential fees (85.81%) Conference centre (8.98%) Donations (3.88%) Investment income (1.09%) Other income (0.23%)

More Students Recommend


In the end of year survey of all current students, over 97% responded that they are likely, or highly likely, to recommend Sancta to their friends or family as a place to live whilst they study (compared with 94% in the 2015 survey).

Catering (27.64%) Employment (21.52%) Maintenance (9.11%) Depreciation (7.92%) Housekeeping (7.19%) Other student costs (6.85%) Scholarships/bursaries (5.51%) Utilities (4.03%) Marketing (3.18%) Insurances (3.01%) Other costs (4.05%)

How likely are you to recommend Sancta to your friends/family as a good place to study and live if they are to attend the University of Sydney, Notre Dame or UTS? 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Highly Likely



Highly Unlikely



The last few weeks of semester at Sancta were filled with finals. The final Formal Dinner, the final social event Formal, and of course, final exams. The Vale Mass and Dinner was a special way to end the year and gave us all an opportunity to reflect on our time at Sancta. It was in the Dining Hall that I realised that even though 2016 was coming to an end, the connection I have to Sancta will never be final. I will always carry a part of Sancta with me wherever I go in life, and I know this to be the case with everyone else here. 2016 was a fabulous year at Sancta! The year flew by and was filled with successes. One of our most notable accomplishments was placing 3rd overall in the Palladian Cup. The sporting highlight of the year was probably our 9-0 football (soccer) win against our friends at John’s.

From the

SENIOR STUDENT I will always carry a part of Sancta with me wherever I go in life, and I know this to be the case with everyone else here.

Undoubtedly, 2016 was successful in terms of Rosebowl and Palladian, our students performed well academically and engaged socially, however, I believe the true success of 2016 was most clearly reflected in the Sancta community spirit. There was such a sense of pride in being a Sancta student and there was so much support and friendship among the student body. The tone was set by the House Committee and Senior Common Room, whose leadership and hard work set an amazing example. The General Secretaries and RAs gave so much to ensure that the students had the best possible college experience and I know the students were and are very appreciative of their dedication. I would also like to acknowledge the immense amount of work that the staff do to ensure that we are all happy and healthy. There are so many people who support our residency at college including all the staff in administration, catering, cleaning, maintenance, tutorial programs, and of course the College Council, Maryanne, Dr Leech and Father Thomas.



I would like to congratulate the incoming House Committee and Senior Common Room, led by Isabella Barrett and Martin Day and wish them well for 2017. I have every faith that the College will go from strength to strength next year under their leadership. I am so thankful for all the opportunities that Sancta gave me. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the support of the College and all the people in it as I have lived away from home to study at University. I know that I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend Sancta and not everyone is in a financial position to do so. In 2016 we had the capacity to donate $10,000 toward the perpetual House Committee Scholarship. We raised funds through the Sancta Art Show, where we showcased students’ and local artists’ works, and through raffles at our Mothers’ and Fathers’ dinners. This scholarship assists other young women in continuing their education at Sancta and the 2016 House Committee was very proud to continue this initiative. Although many of us sadly will not be returning to Sancta in 2017, I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that we have thoroughly enjoyed our time at Sancta and will miss it a lot. I wish all the returning students, Graduands and Valetants the best of luck in whatever the future holds for them and know, like our College Song says, Sancta will be a “part of us forever more”. Aili Langford Senior Student 2016

And so we arrive at the end of another year! At the time of writing, the sun is shining and the jacarandas are in bloom (although tragically one less now after the recent loss of the University of Sydney’s favourite jacaranda) but Sanctarians are hard at work in libraries and in our rooms as we prepare for our final assignments and examinations. Luckily, the past couple of months have allowed for a wide range of exciting events here at Sancta for our postgraduates.

From the

SENIOR COMMON ROOM I have been so very happy here at Sancta and it was an honour to lead the Senior Common Room in 2016.

In October, 31 Sancta postgrads went on a tour of the Hunter Valley, organised by the Senior Common Room. It was a grand adventure, as we took part in a cheese tasting, visited a chocolate and fudge factory, tasted wines and olive oils, and worked our way through a three course lunch. The lamb I had that day may forever reign as the lamb by which all other lamb in my life will be judged. A few days later, Sancta history was made, as postgraduate men formed our first ever Rawson track and field team. We competed in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m running, shotput, discus and javelin. We were also fortunate to have two postgraduate women represent Sancta in the Rosebowl Athletics (the 5km and javelin). By the end of October, the College bade farewell to those graduating or moving on from Sancta at our 2016 Vale Dinner. We all make and keep our own memories of this place. For most of us, our love of Sancta is borne of our love of its people, and it is always sad to bid farewell to people who have had transformative impacts on our lives, and who we have laughed, cried, studied, partied and grown with; these are bonds that last a lifetime. I know our valetants and graduands will carry their own unique and warm memories of Sancta, and they will be missed.

Thank you to the Senior Common Room Committee of 2016 – Myriarm, Jackson, Ellen, Pipes, Bella and Lizzy you have all been phenomenal. It is exciting to note that we have donated Sancta’s first Senior Common Room Executive Honour Board as our gift to the College, and it has been installed in Graduate House. Thank you to Dr Leech and Maryanne for your unwavering personal support and encouragement throughout this year, both within the Senior Common Room and in my broader endeavours. Thank you to Council for your engagement and support of the student experience here at Sancta. And thank you to our families, donors, and other friends of Sancta who make our experience here possible. College is a formative experience for all of our residents – your support makes that experience possible. I also express my best wishes to Aili Langford, who has been a magnificent Senior Student, and a pleasure to work with. And now to the future! Congratulations and best of luck to Martin Day, my successor as President of the Senior Common in 2017. Martin is a dear friend – I have every confidence in him and his team, and I know that they will have an exciting year ahead. I have been so very happy here at Sancta and it was an honour to lead the Senior Common Room in 2016. Best wishes, Joshua Preece President Senior Common Room 2016



2016 Graduands and Valetants

Vale 2016 Sancta formally farewelled students leaving the College at the Vale Mass and Dinner. We welcome them to the wider Sancta community as alumni. Elizabeth Broderick was the guest speaker and she inspired the students with her well researched and thought provoking address. The Award winners from the evening were:

Nita Macrae Award Aili Langford This award is in memory of Mother Juanita Macrae RSCJ, Principal of Sancta Sophia College from 1943 to 1957. The award is presented to a student who has had at least three semesters in College, who has a consistent academic record and has made a significant contribution to the community life of a College founded on Christian values. One nominee spoke of Aili’s suitablity for the award: “Aili has had a huge workload throughout her time at Sancta. Whilst maintaining between a distinction and high distinction average and holding her pharmacy scholarship, Aili has participated in all aspects of College life. She has been an integral part of sporting teams (soccer and hockey), has been in choir, oration and debating and is a representative at Open Day. Aili also is



a great supporter in all College events, whether competition or social. As Senior Student she has added even more to do to her schedule and has thrived in all areas of College and Uni life. She is a great candidate for this award.”

Sheila Hurley Cultural Award Alexis Weaver The Sheila Hurley Cultural Award has been made possible by the family of the late Sheila Hurley, a former Sancta student (1932-1935) and ardent supporter of Sancta Sophia College. The Trophy is awarded annually to a student for contribution to the cultural life of the College, covering such areas as music appreciation, art and drama. One students wrote of Alexis: “Alexis has done an incredible job as Cultural Secretary this year, whilst maintaining outstanding grades. She has gone above and beyond her expectations and put her heart and soul into the position. She has lead the team of secretaries to great success and been able to guide them but also taking on their ideas. She has been fair and honest in dealing with conflicts and sacrificed many hours of her time, not only leadership but to actually participating in cultural activities such as instrumental ensembles, both choirs and art. She is a role model to all

at Sancta and is highly regarded by her peers. She has rallied support for cultural pursuits and gotten many students who may try and not be involved in college life involved in cultural activities. This year she has been the cultural back-bone of Sancta and many of our successes in this area are due to her infallible leadership.”

Jean Daly Oration Award Isabella Barrett The Jean Daly Oration Award was first awarded in 1987 and was donated by the St Joan’s Alliance, a Catholic women’s organisation, in memory of Jean Daly, a former President of the Alliance. It is awarded to a student for excellence in Public Speaking. One nomination spoke of Isabella, “Isabella has not only performed very well in Palladian oration (placing second), she has also been an integral part of the Sancta debating team in 2016. I know Isabella has worked very hard in her own time to improve her speaking skills and I think this is evident in the way Isabella has performed this year. Similarly she spoke so eloquently at Sancta events such as the 90 Year Alumni Dinner this year and has used her skills to represent the College in an excellent manner.”

Sportswoman of the Year Award Julia Mathers The Trophy is awarded annually to a female student for contribution to the sporting achievements of the College, by participating in sports and/ or supporting Sancta athletes through other involvement (such as coordinating, coaching or cheering). One nominee outlined Julia’s strengths: “Julia has consistently contributed to sport over her three years at Sancta, particularly during her role as Sports Secretary in 2016. Julia was an important member of the hockey and soccer teams 2014-16, and an invaluable supporter of all other sports. Ever active and enthusiastic, she has undoubtedly been an asset to the sporting community at Sancta.”

Sportsman of the Year Award Adam Birman

Anne Merz took on this challenge and is being awarded the Yvonne Swift Individual Achievement Award for her initiation and for driving this wonderful project.

Special Principal’s Award Kevin (Hanyang) Hong This award is for excellence in introducing and managing new programs at College. Sancta received an invitation early this year to join a new Sports Competition, the Intramural Sports Competition. A number of students took on the challenge and assisted in ensuring Sancta participated with great energy and spirit in this new competition. Kevin Hong provided an outstanding contribution, liaising with the competition organisers, ensuring Sancta teams were competition-ready, and attending and supporting matches. We are pleased to present this special award to Kevin Hong.

The Trophy is awarded annually to a male student for contribution to the sporting achievements of the College, by participating in sports and/ or supporting Sancta athletes through other involvement (such as coordinating, coaching or cheering).

Congratulations to the Graduands 2016

Graduands (returning to Sancta in 2017) Karen Gao Cici Guo

Charlotte Webber

(leaving Sancta in 2016) Kate Beasley Sophie Brown Tom Changlai Bridgette Clarke Ane Coetzee Alice Connors Taneika Dalton Emily Frazer Georgia Gunn Ellena Holm Claire Ingram Aimee Jordan Georgina Kreutzer Kristie Kuhn Georgia Lack Diana Lee

Joe Levy Yi Yun Low Hannah Marshall Julia Mathers Jackson McLeod Heidi-May McReynolds Hannah McWilliam Amy Ong Yinhong Ouyang Emma Pullinen Isabella Russo Corinne Shields Hannah Siemer Lucy Thompson Philippa Warden

In its inagural year. Adam organised and competed in the Rawson Swim team and was a keen supporter of all sporting competitions.

Yvonne Swift Individual Achievement Award Amelia-Anne Merz This award is for outstanding individual achievement, either within College or in the wider community. This year, it is awarded to a student who undertook a special project for the College, researched that project in detail, developed a structure for implementing it, including an Advisory Board and is now progressing towards completion. The project is the development of a peer-reviewed journal for Sancta, researched in Canberra and Sydney, and now managed by an Advisory Board, reviewing some 27 articles which have been submitted for publication. Amelia-

Nita McRae winner Aili Langford with Dr Marie Leech

Guest Speaker Elizabeth Broderick

Sportsman of the Year Adam Birman and Dr Marie Leech

Yvonne Swift Award recipient Amelia-Anne Merz with Dr Marie Leech



Student Leaders FOR Congratulations to the new House Committee representatives for 2017, including: Senior Student Isabella Barrett Honorary Secretary Hannah Barnett Treasurer Madeline de Dassel Social Secretary Janice Muller Sports Secretary April Alcock Cultural Secretary Elizabeth Collins Liturgical Secretary Mary Schnelle


Social Justice and Sponsorship Secretary Lucy Bell Bird

Congratulations to the Senior Common Room Committee for 2017:Â

Senior Intercol Representative Franny Earp

President Martin Day

Junior Intercol Representative Georga Knight

Treasurer Michael Duan

Senior Representative Lucy Maher Sophomore Representative Amelia Bryant

Secretary Aaron Yang Social Secretary Eloise Lennen-Rodriguez Sport Secretary Jordyn Price Cultural Representative Amelia-Anne Merz Post Grad Representative Adam Birman

Sancta’s 2017 leaders: Michael Duan, Madeline de Dassel, Martin Day, Isabella Barrett, Aaron Yang, Hannah Barnett



ACADEMIC DINNER Each year the College recognises academic excellence at the Chancellor’s Dinner. At the annual dinner held in August, Academic Prize winners and 2016 Scholars were formally honoured and congratulated by Chancellor, Ms Belinda Hutchinson, AO.

Congratulations to all the students who achieved high honours. Full details can be found here: uploads/2015/02/2016-Dinner-Programme.pdf

ACADEMIC MENTORING PROGRAM The Vice Principal, Maryanne Pidcock and Senior Tutor, Dr Jen Scott Curwood, worked closely with 14 students who were selected as Academic Mentors. These students provided academic support and mentorship to other students within their respective disciplines. As well as the peer to peer support, the Academic Mentoring for each faculty includes at least two events per year, organised by the Academic Mentor,

where alumni, faculty, residents and other professionals can network and interact. At the second semester science faculty mentoring event, the main guest was Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. These events assist the students to develop and clarify their career aspirations, while creating networks that will fast-track their progress.

Sancta’s science faculty students with Dr Karl (centre) and Academic Mentor, Yi Yun Low (centre right) who organised the evening at the College.



ART SHOW The Art Show is a means by which the House Committee secures funding for its scholarship that supports students each year.










Christmas Dinner is always a colourful relaxed occasion, where the kitchen outdoes itself with its festive catering.

The Cultural Dinner celebrated Aussie icons.



Through the DECADES As a fitting end to the College’s 90 year celebrations, we have compiled a short history of each decade by highlighting the key events and individuals from the last 90 years. For more details see Research by College Archivist, Dr Tracy Bradford, whose work has been made possible through the philanthropic support of Ms Patricia Horsley.

The first decade (1926 - 1935) Significant events 26 March 1925 – the Foundation Stone was laid by Archbishop Kelly, in the presence of Apostolic Delegate Cattaneo, several of his fellow bishops, representatives of the University and a crowd of well-wishers. 15 March 1926 – the move from the temporary accommodation at City Road Darlington to the new, but still unfinished, hall of residence at Missenden Road occurs. Floors were still to be sanded, boxes and furniture cluttered the corridors, electric lights were yet to be installed and the builders were still on site! There were 23 women in the first cohort of students; three of them student nuns, and 20 lay students. Included were both undergraduate and graduate students, studying in the fields of Medicine, Law, Arts, Science and Education. 16 August 1926 – the official blessing and opening of Sancta Sophia Hall performed by Archbishop Kelly. Within the space of a few years, demand for accommodation outstripped supply, with rooms being adapted for freshers to share. June 1929 – Prompted by the urgent need for more accommodation, Lady Blanche Sheldon donates £9 000 for the construction of 24 additional rooms, to be added to the southern side of the original wing. The Freeman’s Journal of 30 June

1927 describes the gift as “probably the most generous in the State in connection with a work dear to heart of His Grace, the Archbishop”. 24 October 1928 – Sheldon Wing blessed and officially opened by Cardinal Cerretti in a private ceremony, the wing having been completed in time for first term, 1928. 1929 – The beginning of the Great Depression saw the ‘full house’ of 1928 give way to a great number of vacant rooms. The lack of external financial support, and difficulties in reducing the interest on debts led to an increasingly urgent push to seek independent incorporation within the University of Sydney. The effects of the Depression were keenly felt into the early 1930s, with student numbers in the College down. 23 Dec 1929 – after much negotiation, which began as early as 1926, the Bill of Incorporation was assented to by the State Governor, Sir Dudley Stratford. The Act incorporated the Principal and Councillors of Sancta Sophia College and established Sancta as a College of and within the University, freeing it from the oversight of St John’s College, whose auspices it had originally been established. John Lane Mullins and Sir Mark Sheldon, two great supporters of the College, played important roles in bringing the Bill before Parliament.

21 January 1930 – at a meeting of the subscribers of Sancta Sophia Hall, Chaired by the Most Reverend Michael Kelly, Archbishop of Sydney, the First Council of Sancta Sophia College was appointed and Mother Margaret MacRory was unanimously elected as the first Principal, and Mother Helen Boydell Vice Principal. 19 February 1930 – the first meeting of the Council of Sancta Sophia College was held in the Common Room of the College; Dr Walter Burfitt was elected to the position of Chairman, and Miss Kate Egan Honorary Secretary. 23 May 1931 – Mother Margaret MacRory died after a long illness. She was buried in the cemetery at Rose Bay convent on 25 May, feast day of St Madeleine Sophie Barat, whose name Mother MacRory had fought so hard to retain for the College. She was succeeded as Principal by Mother Helen Boydell, who had served as Vice Principal to Mother MacRory. August 1933 – Dr Maurice O’Reilly CM, Rector of St John’s College, died. Dr O’Reilly had been indefatigable in his determination to see the establishment of a university college for Catholic women. 31 December 1934 – A highlight of the era was the visit to Sancta Sophia College of Cardinal Joseph MacRory, brother of the College’s first Principal, Mother Margaret MacRory. 3





Significant people >> Mother Margaret MacRory, First Principal, 1930-31. >> Mother Helen Boydell Second Principal 1931-43. >> Dr Maurice O’Reilly CM, Rector of St John’s College. >> The Most Reverend Michael Kelly, Archbishop of Sydney. >> Lady Blanche Sheldon, long time supporter and benefactor, member of first Sancta Sophia Council. >> Sir Mark Sheldon, Member of first Sancta Sophia Council, 1930; staunch supporter of the establishment of Sancta Sophia College; instrumental in bringing the Bill of Incorporation before Parliament in 1929. >> Dr Walter Burfitt, first Chairman of the Council of Sancta Sophia College. >> Dr (later Dame) Constance D’Arcy, member of first Council of Sancta Sophia College, donor and supporter.

>> Miss C Le Plastrier, Member of the first Sancta Sophia Council, 1930. >> Mrs W Spruson, Member of the first Sancta Sophia Council, 1930. >> Dr Mary Burfitt Williams, Member of the first Sancta Sophia Council, 1930.

1. Sancta Sophia College c1926 by Sam Hood.

>> Mrs Tom Lane Mullins, Member of the first Sancta Sophia Council, 1930.

3. Act to Incorporate Sancta Sophia College.

>> Mrs Lyons, Member of the first Sancta Sophia Council, 1930. >> Mrs Burfitt, Member of the first Sancta Sophia Council, 1930. >> Mr Arthur Rankin, Member of the first Sancta Sophia Council, 1930.

2. Laying of Foundation Stone 26 March 1925. 4. Sancta Sophia College Council c1932. 5. Minutes of first meeting of the Council of Sancta Sophia College 19 February 1930. 6. Name tag for Mrs W Bye Member of Sancta Sophia Ladies Committee. 7. College photograph 1926.

>> John Lane Mullins, Supporter and benefactor, instrumental in bringing the Bill of Incorporation before Parliament in 1929; donor of significant library of Australiana, and scholarship in honour of his wife. 5






The second decade (1936 - 1945) Significant events 1937 – The College hosted all the Bishops of NSW to a dinner, presided over by the Coadjutor Archbishop His Grace Dr Gilroy, during the Australasian Synod held in Sydney. 1937 – Several Councillors had high honours bestowed on them: Mr AA Rankin was made a Commander of the British Empire by His Majesty The King, and Miss C Le Plastrier received the Cross of Leo from His Holiness Pope Pius XI. 4 April 1938 – Dr Dora MacMahon (later Dr Dora Bye) joins the Council as its first elected member, filling the vacancy created by the death of Miss C Le Plastrier. 20 June 1938 – Reverend Mother Amelie Salmon RSCJ, Mother Superior of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Rose Bay dies. Mother Salmon was instrumental in founding and organising Sancta Sophia College. In her memory, the Rose Bay Association established the Amelie Salmon Scholarship; the first recipient of this scholarship in 1939 was Alison Stephen. 24 February 1939 – noted benefactor and supporter of Sancta Sophia College, John Lane Mullins MLC, dies at his home in Elizabeth Bay after a long illness. Among his generous gifts to the College was a significant library of Australiana, widely regarded as one of the best of its kind in Australia. He also established the Jane Lane Mullins Scholarship in 1926, in memory of his late wife. Following his death, his daughters gave hundreds of his books, pictures and the table at which he always sat in his Library to the College.

1939-45 – World War II >> During the war years patriotic fundraising and involvement in wartime activities were prominent. War Savings Certificates were bought, many students joined organisations for war training and got involved in knitting socks and making camouflage nets. >> Rationing was in effect. The minutes of the House Committee Meeting of Friday 7 May 1943 record “As milk is now rationed and the amount allotted to the College is very little, it has been impossible for students to obtain their usual glasses of milk each day”. >> Austerity measures at Sancta Sophia College include foregoing a college magazine from 1939 to 1945. The 1940 Annual Report also notes that “owing to an expression of opinion from the University Authorities condemning merely social activities in war-time, we cancelled the Annual Dance and Re-union Dinner”.

8 March 1940 – Death of Archbishop Kelly, last of the earliest planners of Sancta Sophia College. Archbishop Dr Norman Gilroy succeeds Archbishop Kelly. December 1943 –Mother Helen Boydell tenders her resignation, to take effect on 31 December 1943, as Principal of Sancta Sophia College due to ill health; she is succeeded by Mother Juanita (Nita) Macrae. 1943 - Dame Constance D’Arcy elected to the position of Deputy Chancellor of the University of Sydney, the first woman to hold that position. 25 March 1944 - Mother Macrae initiated the Sodality of Our Lady, assisted by Fr. J Golden SJ; seventeen girls attended the first meeting.


>> Sancta Sophia College accommodated 25 nurses from the US Army Medical Corps, together with Red Cross workers, a dietician and physiotherapist from August 1942 until February 1943. >> The effects of the war on college life were felt in other ways: in 1942 the Psychology Tutor left the College to enlist in the Air Force; the basketball court was planted out with potatoes, and a small “Land Army” formed at the College growing vegetables; due to a lack of waitresses, students had to adapt to serving themselves at dinner.

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Significant people >> Mother Helen Boydell, Second Principal 1931-43. >> Mother Nita Macrae, Third Principal 1943-57. >> Mother Mary Arnold (‘Mattie’), acting Principal during Mother Boydell’s leave of absence, Vice Principal. >> Archbishop Dr Norman Gilroy, who succeeded Archbishop Kelly following the latter’s death in 1940. As Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Gilroy held the position of College Visitor. >> Lady Blanche and Sir Mark Sheldon, long-time supporters and benefactors, and members of the Sancta Sophia College Council since 1930. Having donated £9000 to build the Sheldon (West) Wing in 1928, Lady Sheldon continued to support the College through the donation of everything from rubber mats in the kitchen “to save the cook’s feet”, to a set of silver dish covers for the dining room, and a forty-one piece Crown Derby tea set.

>> Dame Constance D’Arcy, member of first Council of Sancta Sophia College, donor and supporter. Dame Constance served on Council from 1930 until her death in April 1950, including serving as Chairman of Council from 1946. In addition to her work on College Council, Dame Constance was also a member of the University of Sydney Senate from 1919 to 1949 and Deputy Chancellor of the University 1943 – 46, the first woman to be elected to both these roles. >> Dr Dora Bye (nee MacMahon), elected to Council 1938. Dr Bye was the first elected member of Council, all previous members having been appointed by His Grace, the Archbishop of Sydney. She served on Council for 53 years, until her retirement in 1991.

1. Two women under the garden arch c1940. 2. Sodality 1944. 3. Marie Leahy and Maureen O’Neill from 1939 College magazine. 4. Contract between Sancta and United States of America Sep 1942. 5. Sancta float, Commemoration Day c1936-37. 6. Four women in garden with St Johns College in background. 7. Lisette Nicolas and Alison Stephen from 1939 College magazine. 8. The gypsy chorus from College magazine 1939. 9. Basketball teams 1944 from College magazine. 10. The Sodailty from College magazine 1945.





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The third decade (1946 - 1955) Significant events Australia saw the emergence of a period of post-war optimism and growth following the austerity of the war years, with the possibility of tertiary education within the reach of more people than previously. The Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme (established during 1944) saw an increase in Commonwealth financial support for universities. His Eminence Cardinal Norman Gilroy visited the College on 24 April 1946, shortly after his return from Rome, where he was elevated to the rank of Cardinal on 18 February 1946 by Pope Pius XII. Following luncheon in the Library, His Eminence met with and addressed the students in the Quadrangle and gave his blessing. The students presented him with a cheque for the needy in Europe, for whom the Holy Father had issued a special appeal. 1946 saw the death of Florence Lane Mullins, one of the original Councillors of Sancta Sophia College. A great supporter of the College over many years, she left a bequest of £50. Another founding member of Council, Dame Constance D’Arcy was elected as Chairman of Council on 7 March 1946, replacing Dr Walter Burfitt. The Vice Principal, Mother Arnold, was granted a leave of absence for 1947 to assist with the establishment of Duchesne College in Brisbane. The Sancta Sophia Association (sometimes erroneously referred to as “the Ex-Students’ Association”) was founded on 25 March 1947, at the instigation of Mary Collingridge who was appointed the inaugural President. The report of the Association’s formation, and account of its subsequent activities, was warmly received by the College Council at its meeting of 4 September 1947. At the meeting of the Finance Committee of 20 October 1948, a letter from Lady Sheldon to the Principal was read, announcing a gift of £10 100 as a Trust Fund for three scholarships, to be named after her three daughters, for students from Rose Bay Convent to reside at Sancta Sophia.



Other generous bequests were left to the College in 1948; £500 for “general purposes” was left by Mrs Angela Hepburn, and £1 000 for the Amelie Salmon Scholarship was bequeathed by Miss Louise de Lauret. The University of Sydney marked its Centenary in 1950. The Principal and Vice Principal of Sancta Sophia represented the College in the academic ceremony in the Great Hall. The death of Dame Constance D’Arcy, long standing supporter and member of Council, on 25 April 1950 caused much sadness among the College community. In paying tribute to her, Monsignor Meany said “we were all very proud of her achievements; every Catholic in Sydney was proud of her achievements, and she herself, though a modest woman, was proud of what she did as a Catholic. Everything she did, she did as a young woman – she made the most of every opportunity offered.” Dame Constance left a generous bequest to the College, comprising a cabinet containing valuable and beautiful china, a coffee service and a canteen of silver. In 1951, the much-loved Vice Principal, Mother Arnold, was transferred to Melbourne. At the Council meeting of 1 March 1951, the Chairman, Monsignor Meany, spoke appreciatively of her services as Vice Principal and the affectionate respect with which the students regarded her. Overseas students appeared at the College in the post-war period for the first time, some via the Colombo Scheme and mostly post-graduate students. Among them were two Fulbright Scholars, one from the University of California and one from Guam. On 8 October 1951, the College hosted the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima. The Quadrangle, festooned with flags, bunting, a welcome arch and banners, was the scene of a huge gathering of dignitaries and college students when the statue was honoured by a procession and an altar erected in front of the library door. The death occurred of Miss Kate Egan, Foundation member of Council, and long-serving Honorary Secretary, on 9 September 1951. Miss Egan had held the position of Honorary Secretary since

1930, and like many of her peers, had been involved in the move to establish Sancta Sophia College since the 1920s. In 1952, a bequest of £500 from Miss Egan’s estate was received to support the Annie Mary Toohey Scholarship (Annie Toohey was Miss Egan’s sister). Reverend Mother Macrae was granted a leave of absence from the College for 1952, to go to a Sacred Heart Convent in Auckland. In her absence, Mother Hore acted as Principal and Mother Eileen Leyne as Vice Principal. Mother Macrae was warmly welcomed back at the Council meeting of 5 March 1953. On 8 September 1954, His Eminence Cardinal Gilroy blessed the Foundation Stone of the Sheldon Hall. Once again, the generosity of Sir Mark and Lady Sheldon in providing for the expansion of the College was widely acknowledged. The death of Lady Blanche Sheldon in July 1955 was recorded with much regret and sadness in the Minutes of the Council meeting of 1 September 1955. Writing in tribute to her, Archbishop O’Brien said “that beautiful college would always remain a memorial to her generosity”. The high esteem in which her fellow Councillors held her is reflected in a testimonial of appreciation presented to her in 1948-49.

Significant people >> Mother Juantia (Nita) Macrae, Third Principal 1943-57. >> Dame Constance D’Arcy (Appointed to the first College Council in 1930; Chairman of Council, 7 March 1946 1950. Born 1880, died 25 April 1950) >> Miss Kate Egan (Appointed to the first College Council in 1930; Honorary Secretary, 1930 - 7 March 1946; 6 March 1947 - 4 March 1948). >> Mrs Anne Spruson, Mrs Eileen Lyons, Mrs Esmey Burfitt and Dr Mary Burfitt Williams – this quartet of women were all foundation members of the Sancta Sophia College Council, appointed by the Archbishop of Sydney in 1930. All four had been staunch supporters of the movement to establish a Catholic Women’s College within the University of Sydney, and served on Council for many years. Between them, they provided a century of service to the College Council.


1. Group of eight women c1950-51. 2. Luncheon menu signed by Cardinal Gilroy 1946. 3. Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima enshrined in Sancta Sophia College Quadrangle 8 Oct 1951. 4. Letter dated 20 Oct 1948 from Lady Sheldon re gift for scholarships. 5. Sancta plays hockey from 1949.


6. Mary Horsley and attendants on her wedding day 1955.


7. Commemoration Day 1948. 8. Lady Blanche Sheldon wearing the insignia of Dame of the Holy Sepulchre. 9. Procession of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima 1951.











The fourth decade (1956 - 1965) Significant events 1956 was marked by the deaths of five of the College’s Foundation Councillors: His Lordship Bishop Gleeson, the first Chairman, Dr Walter Burfitt, Mrs Anne Spruson, Sir Mark Sheldon and Dr Mary Burfitt Williams, all of whom had made significant contributions to the development of Sancta Sophia College. The 1956 Annual Report noted an unusual event in the College life that year; for ten days during the May vacation an International Women’s Hockey Tournament was played on the University Ovals, with Sancta Sophia and Women’s Colleges providing accommodation for many of the players and tournament officials. The Sheldon Dining Hall was completed and opened in 1957, a beautiful and dignified stained glass window added to the wall behind the High Table. In 1957, the Report of the Committee on Australia Universities (known as the Murray Report) was handed down, heralding the beginning of greater Commonwealth financial involvement in the university sector. One of the key areas the Committee addressed was that of inadequate facilities, which resulted in increased expenditure on buildings, on a continuing triennial basis, including residential colleges and halls of residence. As a result, Sancta Sophia College benefited from substantial grant funding for a program of building works, which resulted in the construction of the East Wing, the extension of the North Wing, and the construction of The Octagon and the McDonald Wing.



On 16 January 1958, the Council of Sancta Sophia College, together with the Heads of the other Colleges, met at Sancta Sophia to farewell Reverend Mother Juanita Macrae, and to welcome her successor, Mother Yvonne Swift LLB. Mother Macrae had served as Principal since 1943. In 1958, Sancta Sophia College and Women’s College contested the inaugural Macrae – Archdale Cup. The Cup was named after the two principals who had left the previous year, Mother Juanita Macrae of Sancta Sophia and Miss Betty Archdale of Women’s College. With victory in the swimming, table tennis, tennis and basketball Sancta won the Cup and the victory was celebrated with a Sports Cup Dinner. At the Council meeting on 27 November, the Chairman added his congratulations to the students on their success. At their meeting of 27 November 1958, members of Council agree that there should be a closed night once a week, with all students required to dine in College on that night. Council also agreed that once a fortnight or so, a guest should be invited to dine at High Table and to speak to students during coffee afterwards in the Common Room. The councillors were of the view that the formal night was highly necessary for discipline. In 1959, Sancta won first prize in the Commemoration Day Float Procession with their performance of their skit on the Red Cross, dressed as Vampire Bats (the Red Cross being the charity for the year). At the meeting of 5 March 1959, Council was advised that the architect had been

asked to draw up plans for a proposed extension to the College, including “a main entrance hall and staircase, a reception room, a large lecture hall to be used for tutorials, sleeping accommodation for about 32 students, bathroom block and extensions to the Chapel and Library”. Work finally commenced on the extension on 21 December 1959. Lent Term 1961 saw the long awaited East Wing almost completed, with the first floor being occupied. On 31 May that year, His Eminence Cardinal Gilroy conducted the Blessing of the new wing. The 1961 College Formal saw debutantes presented to His Excellency The Governor, Sir Eric Woodward and Lady Woodward. The report of the evening in the College magazine paints the picture: “…acres of polished floor shining like glass, reflecting flowers everywhere, lovely camellias, red and white, gracing the tables of the official guests, and gladioli standing erect in magnificent array…the supper magnificent, the band wonderful, we could have danced all night.” 1961 saw the College enter the world of commerce, with the opening of the College shop two days after Easter. A fixture for several decades, the shop served to raise funds for the House Committee and was blamed by many for the on-set of the “Sancta spread”. On 14 November 1961, Sancta had a brush with international stardom, when the British actress Miss Vivien Leigh visited the College. The Dispense Journal entry for that day records that she “came for half

an hour at 3.30pm. Fruit cup and afternoon tea of sandwiches and cake were prepared but she took nothing”. Ensuring nothing went to waste, Dora Bye and some of the students who came to meet her had afternoon tea in the Blue Room after she left at 4pm. At the Council meeting of 7 March 1964, Mother Swift reported that she had obtained, from the Australian Universities Commission, a copy of the working drawings prepared in 1960 for octagonal student blocks constructed at Ormond College, University of Melbourne. Although the minutes report that the College’s Architect, Mr Crocker, “had not seemed very enthusiastic”, contracts were signed later that year and work commenced on the construction of The Octagon. The Second Vatican Council (informally known as “Vatican II”) was held between October 1962 and December 1965. Vatican II was a catalyst for a great deal of change in the way Catholics viewed themselves, their church and the rest of the world. The end of enclosure for the nuns in the mid-1960s allowed Mother Swift and the other nuns to take their place more freely in inter-college and University functions. Council approved, at its meeting of 3 June 1965, the purchase of a car for the use of

the Community, owing to the increase in attendance at University functions by the nuns, and the difficulty in obtaining taxis at night. Speaking in favour of the purchase, the Chairman, Sir Charles McDonald, said that he “thought that it did not seem right that nuns should travel on foot at night” and that “Council should encourage their attendance at University functions”. An increase in the attendance by the nuns at Graduation Ceremonies and other functions had been met with a marked change of opinion in University circles, and caused “very agreeable comment”. In August 1965, the College hosted an art exhibition organised by Miss Barbara LaneMullins as a fundraiser for the continuing building program. Among the artists whose works were featured were William Dobell and Sidney Nolan.

Significant people >> Mother Yvonne Swift LLB, The College’s 4th Principal (1958 to 1972).

1. Presentation of debutantes 1961. 2. Fencing exhibiiton Settlement Fete 1957 Mary Nathan and Deborah Bruce. 3. Table Tennis c.1960s. 4. Entrance Hall New [East] Wing 1961 looking towards the Blue Room. 5. Sancta Sophia College Chapel 1956. 6. Debutantes 1961. 7. Looking across quadrangle towards West (Sheldon) Wing from site of Octagon 19-9-63. 8. From Sancta Sophia magazine 1961.


>> Sir Charles McDonald, KCMG, Nominated to Council in 1951, Sir Charles served until his death in 1970, including as Chairman from 1953 to 1970. >> Father Roger Pryke, was elected to Council in 1958, and resigned in 1973 following his resignation from the priesthood.








The fifth decade (1966 - 1975) Significant events A climate of social criticism within the universities concerning administration, methods of teaching and examining, and a desire for more student participation in democratising higher education prevailed from the mid-1960s. Not a great deal of the rebellious attitudes and activism was apparent within Sancta Sophia College, although issues such as extending visiting hours and relaxing rules around allowing visitors to students’ rooms, and student representation on Council were raised with Council several times during this decade. In August – September 1966, two Religious of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Mother (Professor) Margaret Gorman and Mother Jean McGowan, visited Sancta Sophia College to give a series of lectures in psychology and Biblical Studies. August 1967 – the College hosted an art exhibition “The Broad Canvas, Art in Australia 1770 – 1967”. The exhibition featured over 180 pieces collected for the exhibition by sisters and College alumnae Mary Burns and Patricia Horsley. Media reviews were favourable, describing it as one of the first of its kind to envisage Australian art from the voyages of Captain Cook to contemporary times. The exhibition was opened by the eminent Art Historian Professor Bernard Smith. More than one hundred artists were represented from Charles Condor to Arthur Boyd. At its meeting of 5 September 1968, Council approved a motion put by Mr Justice Sheldon that steps be taken to amend the Act of Incorporation to provide that membership of the Council should not be less than 18 and not more than 20, of whom not less than 3 and no more than 5 should be laymen. News that the amendment had been passed by Parliament was conveyed to the Council by Mother Swift at the meeting of 4 June 1969. In 1968, the College accommodated 90 guests for the week of the Commonwealth Universities Congress, including 43 married couples, the first time men had stayed in College. The venture resulted in a monetary profit, and in the acquisition of equipment for future conferences, as well as new linen for conference use. In 1968 the Art exhibition, “Looking at people, Perception in Australia art” was held as a fundraiser for the Building Fund,



and featured no fewer than 19 portraits by the artist William Dobell. The minutes of the first House Committee meeting of 1969 record a vote of thanks to Kathy Bock for her efforts as Sports Secretary in 1968 which helped Sancta Sophia win the Rosebowl. In April 1970, the College suffered the very real loss of its Council Chairman, Sir Charles McDonald. At the first Council meeting after his death, Mr Justice Sheldon asked that Council move a resolution expressing their abiding sorrow, and their deep appreciation of and gratitude for Sir Charles’s long years of service to Sancta Sophia College. Sancta’s fifth decade was a time of great challenges for the College. In an oral history interview conducted for the College’s 70th anniversary history project, Sister Brennan recalled it as a period of little continuity, with key administrators moving on, and a period of financial difficulty for the College. The state of the College’s finances was a recurring theme throughout the Council minutes, with debts rising following a period of expansion, increased competition for conference bookings from the newly built Travelodge on Missenden Road, a decline in student numbers, and what the Council minutes of 5 March 1970 described as “a spectacular increase in wages and salaries and in catering costs”. To address some of these issues, Mother Swift proposed the appointment of a Management Committee to be closely involved in the running of the College and to advise on day-to-day issues which arose, and for which she needed competent advice. With the endorsement of the Management Committee, Mother Swift engaged the services of a Management Consultant firm in June 1970 to “enquire into and prepare a report on ways of increasing the College’s income and improving its controls over expenditure”. At the meeting of Council of 4 June 1970, Mother Swift reported that the students’ House Committee had passed two resolutions asking the Council’s permission to allow visiting in their rooms between 1.30pm and 6.00pm every day. In supporting this request, Mother Swift reported that Sancta Sophia was the only College in Australia that did not have this

provision in place in some form, and that other Catholic Women’s’ Colleges allowed visitors to students’ rooms. In approving this request, Council actually extended the hours of visitation to also include 7.00pm – 11.00pm on Saturdays nights. During a detailed discussion about fees and the make up of the student population at the Council meeting of 26 November 1970, Mother Swift posited the view that the future lay with a co-educational college, or possibly the two colleges (Sancta and St John’s) sharing common facilities such as a library and common room. At its meeting of 3 June 1971, Council agreed that Mother Swift should make an informal approach to the Chairman of the St John’s Council to discover their attitude to joint planning for a degree of cooperation in the future. Council also resolved that a formal written approach also be made suggesting the establishment of a subcommittee of members of both Councils to study the common problems of the two Colleges and the feasibility of joint planning. Peg Magoffin passed away suddenly on 7 August 1971, robbing Council of a member who had contributed enormously to the Council and the College, as well as the community at large. Mother Swift advised the Council of her intention to resign as Principal in 1972, in the expectation that her former Vice Principal, Sister Mary Shanahan would replace her. Sister Shanahan’s appointment was endorsed by Council at a Special Meeting on 2 October 1971, to take effect on the first day of Trinity Term (5 June) 1972. However, following her appointment to the role of Provincial leader of the RSCJ, Sister Shanahan did not take up the appointment of Principal, and Sister Mary Brennan was appointed in mid-1972. Mother Swift’s pending departure was a topic for discussion at the House Committee meeting of 24 April 1972, with a decision that the dress code for the farewell dinner should be formal, and a contribution of 50c from each member of College be put towards a farewell gift. Miss Barbara Lane Mullins resigned from Council early in 1973, due to ill health. At the Council meeting of 8 March that year, Mother Shanahan spoke of the history of the association of the Lane Mullins family with the College, and suggested


that the College Library should be formally christened the John Lane Mullins Library. Miss Horsley suggested that the name, to include the whole family, should be the Lane Mullins Library. This latter suggestion was adopted on the motion of Mr Heafy. Sister Brennan presented a report on the Australian Association of Heads of Colleges conference held in August 1973 at the Council meeting of 6 September 1973, which included the suggestion that the question of co-residence be investigated.



The minutes of Council of 19 February 1974 record the resignation of Miss Mollie Cahill, whose service on Council commenced in 1957 and included 7 years as Secretary. At its meeting of 19 February 1974, Council agreed to establish three planning committees in the response to the question of amalgamation with St John’s College which was raised. The committees – a legal committee, the existing Finance Committee, and a feasibility study committee – were to consider the possibilities of a co-educational organisation, the legal standing of the college in the event of a forced closure, and whether there remained a need for a Catholic residential college for women. On 29 April 1974, a joint meeting of the Finance Committee of Sancta Sophia College Council and the St John’s College Management Committee was held to discuss matters of common interest. At the Sancta Council meeting of 6 June, Sister Brennan reported that she found the meeting “disillusioning”, and that she felt it only served to show that St John’s Council were not interested in any kind of combined effort with Sancta. A common thread emerging during the discussions about the financial state of the College was that of becoming coeducational. At a Special Council Meeting on 30 July 1974, extensive discussion was had on the principle of co-education, and its implications for the College if introduced. After much discussion, Council voted unanimously to accept co-education in principle, but stressed that in so voting they had not voted to introduce co-education. Mr John A Chapman commenced duties as Administrator of the College on 1 November 1974, a position he was to hold for many years.

1. 1967 College photograph. 2. Ladies Committee Christmas Party invitation. 3. Artwork exhibited in The Broad Canvas art exhibition Aug 1967.

At the Council meeting of 20 February 1975, the already parlous state of the College’s financial situation was exacerbated by the revelation that a sum of $15 000 which had been invested in a short-term loan had been lost to the College. The investment had been championed by a former member of Council and the money had not been repaid, necessitating action to be brought against that person and the company in which they were a principal shareholder. Sister Mary Brennan advised Council at the meeting of 20 February 1975 of her wish to resign from the position of Principal, to return to teaching. The Chairman, Miss Fenwick, noted that Sister Brennan had been Principal at a time of considerable difficulty for, and rapid change in, the College. Mr Justice Sheldon spoke highly of Sister Brennan and the marvellous job she had done, and the great debt of gratitude the College owed her. Council unanimously accepted Mother Shanahan’s recommendation that Sister Mary d’Apice be appointed to the position of Principal, with effect from the end of First term 1975. In 1975, the College came under lay administration for the first time, albeit temporarily, when the Vice Principal, Margaret L’Estrange, took over as Acting Principal when Sister Brennan fell ill at Easter of that year. At its final meeting for 1975, the Committee was asked to consider the matter of the College’s Jubilee celebrations. Sister d’Apice asked the question “should the Jubilee be celebrated in 1976, and if so

what form should the celebrations take?” While the building opened in 1926 as a hall of residence, the Act of Incorporation wasn’t passed until 1929. Mrs Dora Bye, speaking as one of the original students, said that she and her friends had thought the Jubilee would fall in 1976, and were anxious that it should be celebrated soon. Council unanimously passed a motion that 1976 be accepted as the Jubilee Year of the College. Council also unanimously passed at its meeting on 27 November 1975 that student representation on Council should consist of the Senior Student and one other to be elected by the student body. After previously appearing disinterested in the idea of cooperating on matters of common interest and concern, St John’s Council ended 1975 pressing for greater cooperation between the two colleges. They seemed particularly interested in the possibility of sharing Mr Chapman’s administrative services, and weekend catering facilities. Mr Justice Sheldon noted at Sancta’s final Council meeting of the year that this represented a change of attitude which should be encouraged.

Significant people >> Miss Mollie Cahill, Foundation Student 1926, Member of Council 1957 – 1974. >> Miss Barbara Lane Mullins, Councillor 1961 – 1973. >> Miss Peg Magoffin, Councillor 1964 – 1971. >> Sister Mary Brennan, Fifth Principal 1972 – 1975.



The sixth decade (1976 - 1985) Significant events Sister Mary d’Apice took up her position as Principal in 1976, and Miss Aline Fenwick was elected as Chairman of Council, replacing Dr Harry Davies. 1976 marked the College’s 50th Anniversary Year, a milestone marked by a program of events including a special dinner held in May, and a Mass presided over by Cardinal Freeman. In her report to Council at its October meeting, Sister d’Apice reported that the Jubilee Mass had been a very successful and particularly happy function, and that Dr Bye’s reminiscences of Sancta in its early days were well received. “Happiness” was recurring theme in 1976, with the Student Representative on Council agreeing that Sancta was a ‘happy college’, and Sister d’Apice’s report to the October meeting of Council reporting that the College’s equal first place in the Inter-college Rosebowl competition was, in part, a reflection of the spirited and enthusiastic support of the whole college for the sporting events. At its meeting of 3 August 1978, Council welcomed Sister Bernadette Evans as Acting Principal for the remainder of 1978, due to Sister d’Apice’s sabbatical to undertake study in the United States. In accordance with the provisions of the Sancta Sophia College Act, Sister Evans was appointed as Senior Vice Principal so legally she could become Acting Principal.



On 30 November 1978, Council was made aware that the RSCJ were no longer in a position to offer two or three names for the position of Principal as it had in the past, and great difficulty was being experienced in finding someone for the position. However, Sister Patricia Toohey agrees to serve as Principal for one year, 1979. Ultimately this appointment would be extended until 1983. In light of the difficulties faced in finding a Principal for 1979, Council was of the opinion that the Sancta Sophia College Act should be amended to give both the College more chance of getting a Principal and the Order freedom to deploy its people as they saw fit, now that their resources were being stretched. Following a period of financial challenges through the early part of the 1970s, the College experienced a turnaround by 1978, with the Finance Report tabled at the final Council meeting of the year reporting 100% occupancy rates, and maximum conference and seminar use contributing to a most encouraging financial position. While the college benefited from the conference and seminar bookings, its success (along with that of the other colleges) raised the ire of the Motel Association of NSW which wrote to the University in 1980 complaining of unfair competition in the conference trade. 1981 saw the return of a Sancta Sophia Magazine after an absence of 20 years. Introducing the magazine, the Magazine

Committee – comprising Janet Hunter, Danusia Kucharska and Sandra Koller – wrote “Believing that College years are the best years of one’s life, we decided to preserve a little of Sancta Sophia College 1981 in literary form – for posterity – and so the Magazine Committee was formed… we found it difficult at first to gain support for our venture. This we overcame by persistent propaganda.” The resurgence of the magazine was endorsed by the College Council, which agreed at its June 1981 meeting to support the project, congratulating Janet Hunter on her initiative. 1981 also marked 20 years of service to the College by the Night Portress, Mrs Dooner. Paying tribute to her service, the College Magazine reported that Mrs Dooner would wait at the Missenden Road Door until 10pm each night for girls without passes. Interested in craft, Mrs Dooner regularly made items for the St Joseph’s monthly stall, and always had time for a chat. 24 April 1981 saw a Mass and party organised to celebrate Mother Arnold’s 90th birthday. The Sancta Sophia Choir sang at the Mass, including a specially composed birthday song. On 27 June 1981 students attended a Buck’s Party and Shower Tea for Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s College. In a break with tradition, the Social Committee organised the 1981 College



Formal at an offsite location, utilising the University Union facilities on Campus. The same committee, faced with financial difficulties, organised a port bottling as a fundraiser, combining forces with the St Paul’s College Cellar. Three hundred bottles bearing the Sancta Sophia College label were bottled. A resident guest at College in 1981, Dr Don Dodsworth of Waterloo Ontario remarked that “Sancta seems like a buzzing beehive of activity”. Sancta Sophia College was victorious in the inter-college basketball competition in 1981, resulting in the College’s solitary Victory Dinner for the year. In 1983, it was decided that the College should clear its cupboards of its ‘historical miscellania’, and turn its attention towards preserving the College’s heritage. At the Trinity Term House Committee meeting, Sr Toohey, the Principal, invited applications for a student to work under the supervision of Miss Nanette Kelly (a member of Council) as ‘Assistant Archivist’. The College Magazine for 1983 reported that Council had received a grant enabling this work to be carried out. Third Term 1983 marked the beginning of Sister Mary Shanahan’s tenure as Principal. Sister Shanahan’s appointment came following a meeting with the College Council on 17 June 1982, at which she presented her views on the role of Principal. The minutes of that meeting record that “members felt that Sister Shanahan, with her long association with


the College, was aware of the practical aspects of the Principal’s role, but in addition had indicated an approach to the job which could add value to the life of the College and influence that of the University and the community generally. They were willing to meet her challenge.” Sister Shanahan accepted appointment for three years. Coincidently, at the same meeting which approved the appointment of Sister Shanahan as Principal, correspondence was tabled which noted the amendments to the Sancta Sophia College Act had passed on 16 April 1982, to the effect that the Principal can be other than a nun. The Minutes of the Council Meeting of 15 September 1983 record that Beth Finlayson had been appointed to the role of Archival Assistant, reporting to Miss Nanette Kelly, a member of Council. The storage of the Archives, the identification of photographs and the possibility of conducting oral history interviews with people associated with the early history of the College were all matters exercising the minds of the sub-committee appointed to oversee the work of the Archival Assistant. In November 1983, Council considered a submission from Hilary Carey (nee Beange) to write the history of the College. While it agreed to support this concept, Council resolved at its meeting on 21 June 1984 to defer the writing of the history of College until the 75th year.

The retiring House Committee of 1984 instituted two new awards at the College: Sportswoman of the Year, and an Honours Board to be inscribed with the names of the first year, second year and senior students each year acquiring the best academic passes as determined by the University. The 1984 Blake Prize for Religious Art was won by a former Sancta Sophia student, Mary Hall (nee Nathan), with a mosaic inspired by the opening chapter of Genesis. After much discussion over several years, Council resolved at its meeting on 4 July 1985 to place the pre-1801 holdings from the John Lane Mullins Collection and general library on permanent loan in the Rare Books Section of the Fisher Library. The decision was made taking into consideration the deteriorating state of many of the books, and the difficulty of caring for such treasures.

Significant people >> Miss Nanette Kelly, Member of Council 1977 - 2000, Honourary Fellow. >> Sister Mary d’Apice, Sixth Principal 1975 - 1978. >> Sister Patricia Toohey, Seventh Principal 1979 - 1983.


1. 1976 College Photograph. 2. Sr Patricia Toohey. 3. 1981 victorious basketball team. 4. Sr Mary d’Apice.



The seventh decade (1986 - 1995) Significant events The Council Minutes of 12 June 1986 record that the Ex-students’ Association donated the Nita Macrae Award for Leadership (in honour of Sr Nita Macrae, principal from 1943-57). The inaugural recipient was Jacqueline Loo. At the Council meeting of 18 September 1986, the Chairman reported that the Provincial had advised that the Order would make Sr Shanahan’s services available for another five years. By unanimous resolution, Council confirmed and extended the appointment of Sr Shanahan as Principal. Also at the meeting of 18 September 1986, Council unanimously authorised the execution of the deed drawn up to formalise the establishment of the College Foundation. The College Seal was affixed to the Deed, at the Council meeting of 27 November 1986, and Mr Malcolm Irving was announced as the Foundation’s first Chairman. The first AGM of the Sancta Sophia College Foundation was held on 12 July 1988. The Minutes of Council of 27 November 1986 recorded that an elusive sporting victory had been achieved with the College’s basketball team defeating Women’s and Wesley. Success on the tennis court in 1987 ensured another Victory Dinner would be held the following year. In recognition of its research value and special storage requirements, Stage II of the Lane Mullins Collection was transferred from the College Library to the Rare Books Collection of the Fisher Library, on a loan basis, in 1987. The extraordinary service of Dr Dora Bye was recognised at the Council meeting of 16 June 1988, who reached the milestone of 50 years as a member of Council in May. A Special Meeting of Council was held on 4 April 1989 to consider a proposal to build a ground floor computer room and first floor Vice- Principal’s flat, thus enclosing the quadrangle between the North Wing and Octagon. The Finance Committee report of 22 March 1990 advised that the building extensions had all but been completed, and that the structure ‘fitted in well with the surrounding building’.



On 22 March 1990, Council resolved “that this Council may appoint as a Fellow of Sancta Sophia College a person who has given distinguished service to the College, such appointment to be deemed an honour without financial implications”. An Awards Committee comprising the Council Chairman, the Principal and five other Councillors was established to consider and recommend suitable appointments. On 7 June 1990, Council unanimously endorsed the appointment of the first four Honorary Fellows of Sancta Sophia College: Lady (Joyce) Black, the widow of the late Chancellor of the University, Sir Hermann Black; Mrs Mary Collingridge, the first President of the Sancta Sophia College Ex-students’ Association, and Councillor from 1950-87; Rev Dr Harry Davis, member of Council, 1969-89, and former Chairman of Council; and Dr Dora Bye, one of the foundation students of the College, and a member of Council since 1938. In November 1990, Council voted to approve the establishment of the Centre for the Psychology of Religion, sponsored by Sancta Sophia College, with Dr Kathleen O’Connor (Vice Principal of Sancta) as Director for 1991. The establishment of the Centre was the subject of a proposal presented to Council by the Principal, Sr Shanahan, and Dr O’Connor. In the proposal, Sr Shanahan argued that ‘in these changing times, the College must be developed into an Academic Centre or else it will become a boarding house’. Support for the Centre was regretfully withdrawn at the end of 1991. On 21 March 1991, Mrs Marian Diesner was elected to replace Miss Aline Fenwick as Chairman of the College Council, defeating Dr Joan Pasfield in a secret ballot. An Honorary Fellowship was conferred on Aline Fenwick on 20 June 1991 in recognition of her contribution to Sancta Sophia College. Council was advised at its meeting of 21 March 1991 that Sr Shanahan’s term as Principal would come to an end at the close of 1991. The Provincial, Sr Brennan, advised that there were no recommendations for the position, and as a consequence the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus would regretfully withdraw from the administration of Sancta Sophia College at the end of 1991 or in early 1992.

On 19 September 1991, Council accepted, with regret, the resignation of Dr Dora Bye, a foundation student who had been elected to Council in 1938, and was one of the first Honorary Fellows of the College. At a Special Council meeting on 9 October 1991, the appointment of Mrs Janice Raggio as Principal was announced by the selection committee. Mrs Raggio took up her appointment in February 1992. On 21 November 1991, the outgoing Principal, Sr Mary Shanahan, was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her significant contribution to Sancta Sophia College over many years, and in a number of roles. Further reflecting the changes taking place in the administration of the College, Council resolved in July 1992 to establish four new Committees: Policy, Mission and Philosophy; Finance; Operational; and Executive. Late 1992 / early 1993 saw the resignation from Council of Mr Justice JJ Cahill, Dr Gwen Kennedy, Dr Joan Pasfield, Professor Peter Castaldi, Rev Father Michael Whelan and Mr Owen Magee. New members welcomed to Council were Dr Sue Kelly, Miss Cathleen Crossley, Rev Father Peter Quin, Professor Kevin Lee and Mr John Friday. 1994 saw another rare sporting victory for Sancta, with the rowing team taking out the title ahead of Wesley and Women’s, following a win by the Fresher Crew and a second place finish by the Senior Crew. The win was celebrated with a welldeserved Victory Dinner. Reflecting an ongoing awareness of and interest in the history of the College, the Minutes of Council of 12 October 1995 record that Mr J Sheldon reported on correspondence with Sr Marie Kennedy regarding the writing of a book on the history of Sancta Sophia.

Significant people >> Sister Mary Shanahan, Eighth Principal, 1983 – 1992, Honorary Fellow. >> Miss Aline Fenwick, OAM, Councillor 1973 – 1991; Chairman of Council 1975 – 1991, Honorary Fellow.


1. 1990 Senior Common Room with Sr Shanahan. 2. 1991 - Sr Shanahan’s farewell - Trish Horsley, Mary Shanahan, Mary Burns. 3. 1991 - Sr Shanahan’s farewell - Sr Mary Shanahan, Helen Herlihy. 4. Hockey Sancta v Wesley 1986 (Liz Hannan Sancta player). 5. Rowing c1990-91. 6. 1991 - Sr Shanahan’s farewell - Nicola Groynn, Tom O’Brien, Janet Hunter, Mary Shanahan. 7. Sancta rowing (L-R Liz Smith, Fi Henry, Smone Lampard, Kate O’Brien, Louise Trott) 1991. 8. 1991 - Sancta Sophia College.


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The eighth decade (1996 - 2005) Significant events Dr Dora Bye, described as the “doyenne of the Sancta Sophia alumnae” died in July 1996. A Foundation Student of Sancta, she was the first graduate elected to the College Council, and served on Council for 53 years from 1938 to 1991. In recognition of her long and valued contribution to the College, Dr Bye was appointed an Honorary Fellow in 1990. A ‘Back to Sancta’ weekend was held on 30 November – 1 December 1996 to mark the 70th anniversary of the opening of Sancta Sophia College. The celebrations included a Mass, reunion Dinner, and Archives display. 14 March 1997 saw the launch of the book Wisdom built herself a house: A history of Sancta Sophia College 1926 - 1996, written by Sr Marie Kennedy RSCJ. At the Council meeting of 20 November 1997, Mr John Friday on behalf of the Finance Committee, reported on a proposed contract received from the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) to hire the College for three weeks to house Olympic officials during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. On 19 March 1998, Mr John Sheldon moved that an Honorary Fellowship of Sancta Sophia College be bestowed upon Dame Leonie Kramer. Seconded



by Mrs Diesner, the motion was carried unanimously. In her report to Council of 24 September 1998, the Principal Mrs Raggio shared the good news that victories in netball, tennis and softball had been achieved, resulting in Victory Dinners to celebrate. Council was advised at its meeting of 18 March 1999 that the SOCOG contract had been completed, signed and returned. The College was contracted to provide accommodation for 150 people for 21 nights at a cost of $150 per person. Miss Josephine Heesh was elected Chairman of the College Council on 18 March 1999, replacing Mrs Marian Diesner, who stood down after eight years as Chairman. At the Father/Daughter Dinner on 11 September 1999, the father of the Senior Student, Emma Kirkwood, expressed a hope that Sancta would remain a womenonly college. Cries of “hear, hear” from others in attendance suggest that this was a commonly held sentiment. At a time when the issue of co-residence was once again being discussed by the college administration, this was an interesting insight. At its meeting of 16 March 2000, the Council was informed that the Provincial of the ANZ Province of the Society of the

Sacred Heart had given permission for Sr Marie Kennedy (author of Wisdom built herself a house, and a qualified archivist) to be employed for a short time to bring the College Archives up to date. On 3 August 2000, The Chairman advised Council that the recent recruitment action to fill the position of College Principal had been successful, with Mrs Barbara Walsh accepting the position. “And the winner is Syd-eny” - between 10 September and 2 October 2000, Sancta was home to 150 Olympic technical officials during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The minutes of the Council meeting of 15 March 2001 note that the student shop was relocated from the Missenden Road Door to the Octagon, a move which “improves student access to this facility”. Perhaps those many students who fell victim to the “Sancta spread” over the years would argue that such improved access was not necessarily a good thing! Some 170 people attended the official Jubilee Dinner to mark the 75th Anniversary of the College on Saturday 18 August 2001. The dinner was held in the presence of Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, Governor of NSW. 2001 saw the introduction of a new Intercollege Performing Arts challenge –


1. Sancta cheer squad - 2002. 2. O week - 2002. 3. Victorious 2001 rowing crew. 4. Sancta supporters - 2002. 5. Sydney 2000 technical officials village banner. 6. Sydney 2000 technical officials in the Sancta foyer.


7. Sancta’s 2001 rowing crews.

4 5

6 7

the Palladian Cup. The cup was donated by Sancta Sophia College which hosted – and won – the inaugural challenge on Monday 17 September 2001. 2001 saw another intercollege victory for Sancta, this time in rowing, ensuring a well-deserved Victory Dinner celebration would be held and the Sancta song would be sung with gusto. Former College Principal, Sr Yvonne Swift passed away on 10 April 2002. The College was represented at her funeral by the Principal and a number of students. A lawyer by training, Sr Swift resigned in 1972 after 14 years as Principal of Sancta and returned to legal practice. Her obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald described her as “a beacon of hope for many of those discarded by society”.

2003 saw the College become the recipient of two extraordinary acts of benefaction, one a generous bequest from the Estate of the late Olive Arnold, and the other a sizeable donation from Lady Mary Fairfax. In the absence of government or Church funding, such acts of personal generosity were crucial to the ongoing operation of the College.

respectively, and Miss Patricia Horsley ended her 41 year term on Council at the end of 2005.

At its meeting of 23 September 2004, Council extended its congratulations to the Sancta debating team on their victory in the 2004 Intercollege Debating Competition.

>> John Sheldon, Member of Council 1976 – 2002, Honorary Fellow.

Significant people >> Mrs Janice Raggio, Ninth Principal 1992 – 2000, Honorary Fellow. >> Barbara Walsh, Tenth Principal 2000 – 2005.

>> Miss Patricia Horsley - FR 1948; Member of Council 1964 – 2004; Honorary Fellow.

2005 marked something of a “changing of the guard”, as long-term Councillors Mrs Marian Diesner and Dr Margaret Bermingham retired from Council at the end of 2004 after 16 years and 31 years



The ninth decade (2006 - 2015) Significant events Dr Elizabeth Hepburn IBVM took up the position of Principal at the beginning of 2006. At the Council meeting of 18 May 2006, Josephine Heesh informed Council of the death of Miss Aline Fenwick OBE, former Chairman of Council. 2006 marked the 80th anniversary of Sancta Sophia College. Several events were planned to celebrate this anniversary, including Champagne in the Quad, an anniversary dinner on 18 November, and an ex-students’ Mass on 26 November. At the Council meeting of 21 September 2006, Monsignor Mullins presented to the College a beautiful framed photo of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI with the inscription: “The Holy Father Benedict XVI cordially imparts the requested Apostolic Blessing to Elizabeth Hepburn IBV Principal, the Members of the College Council and Staff and Students of Sancta Sophia College on the occasion of the 80th Anniversary of the College Foundation”. At the same meeting, Council noted the death of The Honourable John Cahill, who had been Chairman of Council in the 1970s. In her report to Council of August 2007, Dr Hepburn recorded her thanks to Council for their support during her time as Principal, which was being cut short as she was required to return to Melbourne in 2008, to meet a need of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

At the Council meeting of 6 March 2008, Dr Leech advised that she had received a message from Sister Anne McGrath rscj advising that Sr Marie Kennedy rscj was not well enough to continue as the College Archivist. An afternoon tea was held for Sr Marie Kennedy in appreciation of her work at Sancta. It would be two years before any further work was undertaken on the Archives. In May 2010, Louise Trott, an alumna and professional archivist, agreed to work on the Archives on weekends when time permitted. Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir was the Guest of Honour at an Academic Dinner held on 31 March 2008. The Council minutes of 22 May 2008 record that an inclinator was installed on the steps leading from the Lower Common Room to the Dining Room, thanks to the generosity of Miss Trish Horsley. A simple ceremony of thanks was held prior to the Council meeting on 7 August. At its meeting on 7 August 2008, Council heard that the highlight of the July conference period was the wonderful engagement with World Youth Day, which included the hosting of the 70 members of the International Liturgy Group, the 14 members of Fr Louis-Marie’s group of French students from Toulouse. At the Council meeting of 22 November 2008, Josephine Heesh advised Council that she felt it was time for her to step down as Chair of the Council, although she

was prepared to stay as a Council member. Ms Rachel Launders agreed to act as an interim Chair for a maximum of two years. A succession committee consisting of Josephine Heesh, Rachel Launders and Dr Marie Leech was established to identify potential candidates for the role of Chairman of Council. The Council minutes of 7 March 2009 note the recent death of Lady Black, one of the inaugural Fellows of Sancta Sophia College. Dr Kelly and Mr Sheldon represented the College at the memorial service in the Great Hall. A special meeting of Council was held on 2 June 2009, to discuss issues relating to the future direction and governance of the College, including scholarships/fundraising; the Sancta Sophia Alumnae/Foundation; Sancta Sophia in 2020; Council membership and succession; and a review of the by-laws and committee structure. In her report to Council of August 2010, the Principal reported that a restructure of a number of areas was proposed for 2011, partly addressing the largely part-time staffing structure which was challenging both for staff members and outcomes for the College. Among the intersecting issues regarding staffing for 2011 and beyond to be addressed were staff salaries and changes in staff structure, including the appointment of a fulltime Vice Principal. At its meeting in September 2010, Council resolved, by a majority vote, to approve a recommendation to outsource catering to Sodexo with effect from 1 January 2011.




Dr Marie Leech commenced as Principal on 17 January 2008. She was welcomed to her first Council meeting on 6 March.


At the Council meeting in October 2010 representatives of Farrell Coyne (project managers) and Nettleton Tribe (architects) gave a presentation on the draft master plan for the College site, including potential room sizes and accommodation on offer. In addition, a working draft of the financial model, was tabled. On 2 December 2010, Council resolved to appoint Dr Margaret Bermingham, Mr John Sheldon and Miss Patricia Horsley as Fellows of Sancta Sophia College. The minutes of the College Council meeting of 19 August 2011 note that the development application for the new student accommodation wing had been approved with a condition for a site audit to be satisfied within 12 months. The original approval condition requiring the site only to be used for student accommodation had been removed by the City of Sydney Council. The College Council resolved, at its meeting on 1 December 2011, to offer Baroness Gardner of Parkes and Dr Susan Kelly fellowship of the College. It further resolved to name a prize for individual achievement after Mother Yvonne Swift. Sister Patricia Toohey rscj, who had been Principal of Sancta Sophia College 197983, died 21 January 2013. In 2013, students from the Managing Historical Documents short course undertook a practicum at Sancta Sophia College, working to arrange, describe and list the College Archives. From this project came a recommendation that the College appoint an Archivist on an on-going basis. Tracy Bradford joined as the College Archivist in late 2015, through the support of Patricia Horsley. Council noted at its meeting on 29 August 2013 that a number of nominees for the inaugural Alumni Awards had been proposed, being: Dr Helen Beange AM, Victoria Robensohn and Alison Stephen. The College’s new building, Graduate House, comprising 128 ensuite rooms, was completed and welcomed its first residents, in early 2014. The official opening was attended by over 70 people, including the Governor of NSW, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, the Chancellor of the University of Sydney, and the Cardinal.

The Swimming and Diving team took out the Rosebowl Competition in 2014 and 2015. The Mother Yvonne Swift Bequest Society was launched on 17 September 2014. In her report to Council of September 2014, the Principal advised that negotiations had been held with external company called Hotel Space to manage all bookings and onsite logistics for casual accommodation during the summer vacation periods.

1. Grand Opening Graduate House March 2014. 2. Graduate House. 3. Josephine Heesh. 4. Red & white cheer squad. 5. Rachel Launders. 6. Swimming team 2014.


After much discussion over many years, and in consultation with a descendant of John Lane Mullins, Council resolved at its meeting of 4 December 2014 to sell the John Lane Mullins Collection through Australian Book Auctions, with the exception of some items which reflect the College, which would be retained. The funds were to be directed to the John Lane Mullins Scholarship to be launched in 2017. Josephine Heesh was elected unopposed to the positon of Chair of Council on 5 March 2015, replacing Rachel Launders, who stood down from Council at the meeting of 4 December 2014. In accepting the position, Ms Heesh advised she was only accepting a 12 month appointment and that consideration needed to be given for succession beyond that time. She was succeeded as Chair of Council by Cathleen Crossley.


Significant people >> Sr Elizabeth Hepburn IBVM, Eleventh Principal 2005-2007.


>> Dr Marie Leech, Twelth Principal 2008 - present. >> Josephine Heesh FR 1974; Member of Council 1995 – 2015; Chairman of Council 2000 – 2008 and 2015; Sancta Alumni Award for Contribution to the College 2016. >> Rachel Launders - FR 1986; Member of Council 2005 – 2014; Chairman of Council 2009 – December 2014. >> Cathleen Crossley - FR 1979; member of College Council 1993 - present; Chairman of Council 2016 - present; Sancta Alumni Award for Contribution to the College 2015.




What are they DOING


Clare Young (FR ’08)

Camilla Kenny (FR ’09)

“I’ve had a bit of a whirlwind 2 years. I was married in July of 2014 to my husband Peter Lavrencic, at St Aloysius Chapel and had the reception at the Royal Automobile Club. It was a wonderful day and we were so happy with how it all went.

“This year I was lucky to be chosen as a 2016 State Finalist in The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl Competition, held at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. This included a group of 14 young women chosen from around the state to represent their community and district. Over 500 young women between the ages of 18-24 compete in this competition each year.

Since graduating from Sydney, I have been working for Rio Tinto in Brisbane (with about a year flying to Emerald, Central Queensland). I started in the graduate program as a mechanical engineer, was promoted to project engineer out of the graduate program and in 2015 was promoted to Senior Advisor - Innovation Center; managing Rio Tinto’s Innovation Center in Pune India. This year I was runner up in the Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources Awards, which I was quite chuffed about. (http:// features-2932_16816.aspx) I’m currently on maternity leave after giving birth to little Annabelle Lucy Knox Lavrencic in May this year. She is a wonderful baby, and I’m enjoying my year’s maternity leave and having lots of trips to Sydney to visit new grandparents and other friends and family.“

Clare Young and husband Peter on their wedding day



The Showgirl competition seeks to find a young woman to act as an ambassador for agriculture and the show movement, promoting the value of local shows and the personal and professional development of young women, particularly in rural NSW. Entrants are judged throughout the competition, via a formal interview on personality, confidence, ambitions and goals, general knowledge (local/national/ international); rural knowledge (general, local, show); personal presentation (diction, speech, grooming); volunteer/ community participation; as well as an on-stage interview. Question topics can be anything from local economic or agricultural interests in your town or district, your future goals and local community involvement, to your opinion on significant international issues such as foreign investment in agriculture, and debate between mining and agriculture in Australia.

Camilla Kenny (far right) with the other finalists

The competition begins at a local level where you compete at your local show, where I was lucky to be chosen as the 2015 Dubbo Showgirl out of five contestants. I then competed in the Zone 6 Final which was the largest of the state, with 22 entrants and only three being chosen to represent the district at State, of which I was lucky to be one. As State Finalists we spent the week in Sydney at the Show meeting countless like-minded people who have a passion for agricultural shows from across the state and from various interest groups. Highlights included meeting His Excellency General the Governor of NSW at Government House, visiting children and delivering showbags at the Westmead Children’s Hospital, behind the scenes tours of the Show, and meeting the array of people from across NSW who come together to contribute to and celebrate this event each year. I continue to be involved in the Dubbo Show Society, hoping to give back even a fraction of the overwhelming support they have given me, as well as a member on the Agricultural Societies Council of NSW Next Generation Executive Committee, assisting to promote youth involvement in local shows across the state. This experience provided me with the opportunity to enhance my skills in public speaking, interviewing, media, networking and so on, as well as making some fabulous connections and life long friends. This would be a fabulous experience for many Sancta girls, as the age range is that of many students. I have also found it amazing how many women I have discovered have previously competed or been involved in some way with the show movement.”

We always welcome news from our alumni, please send your information and photos to Elizabeth Burns,

SWIFTY A Life of Yvonne Swift Swifty, A Life of Yvonne Swift, commissioned by the College to mark the life of Mother Yvonne Swift, Sancta’s fourth Principal from 1958 – 1972, was launched at a luncheon on Saturday 20 August by alumna and great supporter, Patricia Horsley. Fr Edmund Campion spent over a year researching the life of Swifty. He travelled widely and interviewed a large number of people to capture the many facets of Mother Swift’s remarkable story, most faithfully. As Trish Horsley said in her launch address, “She lives on in the pages of Edmund’s book”. The Sydney Morning Herald review of the book wrote, “Yvonne Swift was a distinctive nun from the start – arriving at Sacre Coeur, Rose Bay, at 10pm in ball gown to enter the novitiate. The novice who greeted her could only wonder how long she would last. As Edmund Campion’s crisp, admiring biography reveals, she lasted a lifetime… This is a descriptive record of the public life of a revered, formidable figure (although dubbed by some “A bloody difficult woman” and a “phoney”) with only glimpses of the inner, emotional life: the consistent theme being that of a life defined by “giving”.

The note on the jacket cover captures the essence of Swifty’s outstanding story: “When Yvonne Benedicta Swift joined the Sacre Coeur convent in Rose Bay, Sydney in 1938, she was determined to dedicate herself to religious life. But after a career as Principal of the Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart and later Sancta Sophia College at the University of Sydney in the 1970s, she did something unusual: retrained as a lawyer, established her own practice and defended some of Sydney’s most notorious criminals. “Edmund Campion’s biography of this extraordinary woman, who treated everyone from bishops to bikies equally, is a truly inspiring one.” The College is most grateful to Edmund Campion for his perservance and patience throughout this project. He has written a profound piece of work that will preserve Swifty’s memory for many more generations. Swifty, A Life of Yvonne Swift, by Edmund Campion is available for purchase through the College for $30 per copy plus $7.50 postage (within Australia). Please contact Shanelle Kennedy, developmentassistant@ for further information.

Fr Edmund Campion (centre) with Janelle Hatherley and Mary Burns

Trish Horsley launched Swifty at a lunch in August

Congratulations Congratulations to alumna, Clover Moore, on making the 100 Women of Influence list: Clover has made a profound impact on Sydney. Judges assessed entrants on their ability to demonstrate innovation, vision, leadership and action in their fields, noting that winners have common defining traits: “courage, resilience, positivity, perseverance, agility, intellect and the ability to think outside the square.

“They are change creators not change followers and, above all else, they are visionary. It is an honour to be able to recognise and reward the incredible work these women do nationally and internationally through these awards.” In its fifth year, the 100 Women of Influence Awards celebrate outstanding women from a wide variety of sectors across Australia. There are 10 categories: Board/ Management, Public Policy, Diversity, Business Enterprise, Young Leader, Global, Local/Regional, Innovation, Culture and Social Enterprise.



Thank You The 90 Year Celebrations were wholeheartedly embraced by the Sancta community and we are so thankful to everyone who has participated in the many alumni events and given so generously to the College, through their time as volunteers and importantly, financially. The Sr Mary Shanahan Scholarship Appeal was formally launched at a fundraising dinner in April, and to date over $100,000 has been raised towards the endowment target of $600,000, which we aim to achieve in three years. This is tremendous progress already, but there is still much work to be done. The numbers of Sancta’s supporters have again grown steadily this year and with the help of alumni and friends, over 100 students at the College received some financial support. A particular focus for the start of 2017 is to provide scholarship and bursary support for regional, rural and remote students to the value of $1500, and

high achieving students may receive a scholarship to the value of $2500. This will assist with purchasing books, the costs of relocation or a cover a few weeks’ fees at the College. We would like to ask as many alumni and friends as possible to help these students by making a contribution of any size. Every cent will be directed to these scholarships and bursaries. The launch of the Mother Yvonne Swift biography by Fr Edmund Campion in August also served as a time to recognise the newest members of the Bequest Society. We thank Mary Burns, Margaret Hetherton and two others, who wish to remain anonymous, for indicating they have left a bequest to Sancta in their wills. As a means of expressing our thanks to the many people who have contributed to Sancta this year, we held a drinks reception at the Union, University and Schools Club in early November, where student Alexis Weaver spoke of the impact her scholarship has had, opening doors

that she had never dreamed of, and donor Pam Suttor spoke of the power of giving in directly changing people’s lives. Pam said that through her support she had gained family. Thank you to all our very generous supporters. The power of your generosity is transforming the lives of many young people at Sancta. Your gift is not only for today, but is an investment in the future. For a confidential discussion about ways to give to the College, please contact Michele Dunn on 02 9577 2347 or

Joshua Preece, Sara Watts and Prof John Shields at the Thank You Drinks

Thank you to the following people who have donated to the College in 2016: Ms Denyse Adamson Mr and Mrs Robert and Elizabeth Albert Ms Mary Bayldon Dr Helen Beange AM Ms Kimberley Beattie Dr Kathleen Bock Ms Shayne Brown Ms San Mary Bryan Dr Monica Bullen Mrs Mary Burns Mr Allan Burrows Ms Sue Burrows Dr Anne Bye Mrs Maree Callinan Dr Mary Elizabeth Campbell Dr Mary Therese Campbell Fr Edmund Campion Mrs Diana Carmody Ms Jane Carrigan Mrs Karen Carter Mrs Joanne Carter Ms Therese Catanzariti Ms Paula Choi Ms Helen Clarke Mrs Elizabeth Clarke Ms Julie Cleland Mrs Christine Clough Ms Cathleen Crossley Dr Peter Cunich Dr Anne Cunningham



Sr Margaret D’Ath Ms Cara Denman Mrs Marian Diesner Miss Connie Ding Ms Catherine Donovan Mrs Marea Donovan Ms Jane Doolan Mrs Winsome Duffy Ms Catherine Duncan Professor Emma Duncan Ms Margaret Dunn Ms Michele Dunn Mr and Mrs James & Anne Dwyer Mrs Penelope Earp Mrs Anna Edwards Ms Breann Fallon Ms Michelle Fernon Dr Stephen Firmer His Eminence Archibishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher Ms Suzan Foley Mr Gordon Galt Ms Jann Gardner Mrs Kerry Gestier Ms Catherine Gibson Ms Elizabeth Giugni Professor Maree Gleeson Mrs Deanna Goddard Mr Stuart Green Mrs Elizabeth Haddad

Mrs Alison Hagley Mr Walter Haindl Ms Elizabeth Hannan Mrs Chris Harricks Ms Louise Hatton Mrs Janice Haworth Ms Philippa Hayes Ms Josephine Heesh Mrs Margaret Hetherton Mrs Kelly Holland Ms Carolyn Housego Ms Patricia Horsley Mrs Judith Hungerford Ms Mary Ibbett Mrs Denise Jones Mrs Genevieve Kairaitis Dr Colleen Kane Dr Susan Kelly Mrs Leanne Kennedy Mr Mark Krynda Mrs Jennfier Laffan Mr Clive Lamond Ms Rachel Launders Miss Audrey Lee Dr Marie Leech Mrs Elizabeth Loneragan Dr Ann Long Ms Judith Mackson Mrs Margaret MacNamara Miss Susan Madden Mrs Kathryn Magarey

Dr Jane Mah Ms Naomi Malone Ms Wendy Mason Ms Sarah Mayo Dr Julie McGrath Dr Karen McKay Ms Lisa McKay Ms Sally McLaughlan Ms Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin Ms Elizabeth Montgomery Monsignor William Mullins Mrs Tess Mulvaney Ms Nicole Newsome Ms Linda Quartermass Mrs Naomi O’Brien Ms Trine O’Sullivan Mr Victor Ong Ms Marianne Payten Ms Jan Payten Dr Joan Phillip Ms Winnie Phoon Ms Patricia Powell Ms Bridget Quirk Mr David Radford Miss Lucy Rae Mrs Janice Raggio Mrs Janet Roderick Professor Margaret Rose Mrs Margot Russell Mr Gerard Ryan

Ms Marianne Scarfe Dr Bernie Schedvin Mrs Elaine Siemer Dr Caroline Simmonds Mrs Julie Singleton Mrs Mary Smoker Dr Venetia Somerset Ms Pamela Suttor Ms Alison Stephen Ms Thalia Stevens Mrs Leanne Strain Dr Janette Sullivan Dr Deborah Veitch Ms Marguerite Veyret Mrs Helen Walsh Ms Louise Walsh Miss Sarah Walters Dr Pauline Warburton Mrs Sara Watts Ms Simone Whetton Ms Mary Willis Ms Patsy Withycombe Ms Patricia Wilson Mr and Mrs George and Gem Wolstenholme plus 5 donors who wish to remain anonymous *Every effort has been made to ensure this list is accurate, please let us know if there are any issues at all.

CONDOLENCES Our thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the members of our community who have recently passed away. Gwendoline Frances Fitzpatrick née McGirr (FR ’35) Gwendoline passed away on 1 September 2016 very peacefully at age 98. She studied medicine and resided at Sancta during her studies. Beatrice Bateman was her eldest sister and Baroness Trixie Gardner is her younger sister.

Danius Kairaitis, husband of Genevieve (FR ’58). Brian Walsh, father of Louise Walsh (FR ’85). William Raymond (Ray) Walker, father of Mary-Kay Walker (FR ’83). Jenny Fitzgerald, mother of Sarah (FR ’89), Kate and Anna (FR ’93). Sonja Lyneham nee Pikas (FR ’64) passed away in late December after a long battle with illness.

REGIONAL, RURAL AND REMOTE STUDENTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT THE HEART OF SANCTA Today, the College is still home to a majority of students from regional, rural and remote areas, who pursue the opportunities afforded them by a university education.

The College needs to confirm scholarship and bursary offers as soon as possible to provide incoming students with some certainty about their financial commitment for the year.

You can assist these students enormously through a gift to the scholarships and bursaries program.

A bursary is valued at $1,500 and a scholarship is a minimum $2,500. Any contribution from you, no matter how big or small, will make a real difference and an immediate impact for students at the College.

Please consider supporting Sancta’s students for 2017 by making a donation to scholarships and bursaries.

Payment options


Direct Deposit Sancta Sophia College Principal’s Account Westpac BSB 032 030, Account Number 75 0001

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Please include the word EP15 donation and your name in the payment description for accounting purposes

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Cheque Money Order Please make cheques/Money orders payable to Sancta Sophia College


Please accept my gift of:  $50

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Please return this form to Sancta Sophia College, 8 Missenden Rd, Camperdown NSW 2050 or scan and email to Michele Dunn,

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or donate online





Sancta Magazine January 2017  
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